Close More Online Sales
June 1, 2002

Catalogers know the Web can be a valuable place to sell product. However, it’s likely that many are missing the chance to generate even more sales via the Web. To boost your chance at success, pay as much attention to closing the sale online as you would in your print catalogs—perhaps even more so due to the nature of the Web. Therefore, to convert more of your Web shoppers into buyers, consider three key points in your Web-shopping process: online customer service; shipping and handling; and order-taking and processing. Online Customer Service Here are two commonly held misconceptions about online customer service:

Try Teamwork: Internet Partnerships
December 1, 2001

Putting aside for a moment the criticisms about its overall business model, offers numerous lessons for Web retailers—namely, the inherent beauty of Internet partnerships. Indeed, Amazon set the standard for this mainstay in the e-commerce world, and numerous catalogers have adopted these principles to great success. In fact, 10 percent of all Internet sales and 3 to 5 percent of all online catalog Web sales come through affiliate sites—and these numbers are rising rapidly, noted two consultants at the recent Direct Marketing Association Annual conference in Chicago. In their seminar entitled “Internet Partnerships: Understanding the Key to Catalog Growth,” John Deneen, president of

One-Stop E-commerce:
December 1, 2001

Type the word “Gift” into any Internet search engine, and you’ll be faced with more sites than you know what to do with. From to, online gift retailing has become a hot-button business. With such a crowded field, why would the executives of retail giant Target Corp. decide that three of its strongest print catalog brands—Wireless, Signals and Seasons—would do better under one URL, The answer lies in the shopping experience. Market researchers told Target’s online division,, that potential for cross-selling among the three catalogs was high, but that navigating three different sites was not as easy it should be.

So Who’s Laughing Now?
September 1, 2001

Funny isn’t it that only a short time ago some people were telling jokes about print media such as catalogs, direct mail, magazines and newspapers. Many said these forms of communication would be dead as dinosaurs in a few years, thanks to the advent of the Internet as a marketing channel. Some even abandoned their long-time work in the print media industries in search of more glamorous jobs out in the great World Wide Web. But look inside your mailbox today and, lo and behold, you may find a catalog or brochure from one of the leading online marketers. Those who laughed at

E-Catalog: Creating Channel Incentives
June 1, 2001

Attempting to market across multiple channels, catalogers have been using myriad marketing methods to drive sales to particular channels and across channels. While the promotions can be effective, they are hard to track. Netcentives, a loyalty and e-mail marketing solutions company, is offering catalogers a new way of following customers’ buying habits, creating more effective marketing campaigns and encouraging multi-channel shopping with its program Retail Rewards. Customers join Retail Rewards by registering their credit card with their favorite catalogers to receive rewards for their purchases in any channel. Catalogers who join the program create a customer credit card registration page on their sites.

Can Database Marketing Work for Catalogers? (1,457 words)
May 5, 2001

By Arthur Middleton Hughes Despite the downturn in the stock market, catalogs today are flourishing and have become the most successful direct marketing vehicles ever invented. Why is this so? Lightning fast fulfillment. Remember "allow six to eight weeks for delivery?" Who can stay in business today saying that? Many catalogers today even offer next-day service. That means that they have had to streamline their warehouses, with UPS and FedEx trucks constantly backed up to their doors. Massive exchange of names. North America is about the only place in the world where you can rent names of mail order buyers. Almost everywhere

E-catalog-Learn From Those Around You (299 words)
April 1, 2001

By Melissa Sepos Making your customers feel valued can cost you as little as 10 cents. has long been touted for its one-click checkout, real-time package tracking and personalized book suggestions. In January, the company conducted a marketing program of an unusual nature. Amazon mailed an envelope containing 10 one-cent stamps with every order. The "convenience" envelope also contained a 10 percent off coupon, a promotional introduction to luxury retailer (see the Fulfillment story on page 69), and a letter: Dear Friend, From the start, one of our primary goals at has been to make the lives of our

Print Catalogs & Web Working Together (1,425 words)
February 1, 1999

As 1998's holiday season approached, a record number of retailers sought revenue from Internet sales in addition to their concrete storefronts. But Web-based selling is not yet the golden child of the industry. It still requires a helping hand from other media to ensure that customers can find your site in the massive volume of Web pages. One way to attract attention to your site: Print a catalog. Every November, print catalogs fight for visibility in the holiday shopper's mailbox. In 1998, two companies upped the ante by being different: the Dell Home Systems Catalog and got shoppers off the phone and onto

Contact Centers-3 Questions for Future Strategies (1,421 words)
January 14, 1952

--- Contact Centers: Keep the Hub Humming Three strategic questions every customer contact center manager must answer. By Curt Barry No doubt your catalog's customer contact center has changed dramatically in the past five years. Your employees probably now support e-commerce initiatives, respond to e-mailed correspondence, track outbound customer shipments, access digital product images via the Internet or terminal-based systems, and much more. Before you plot your contact center's future strategies, answer these three basic questions: 1. How are you defining, measuring and improving customer service? Every cataloger preaches the gospel of customer service, but how does your corporate culture uniquely deliver

Case Study - Chinaberry Catalog (2,875 words)
January 14, 1952

Chinaberry's winning combination: soft on the outside, savvy on the inside By Donna Loyle Imagine for a moment that your catalog company's main competitors are book-selling giants Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The grueling price wars—behemoths battling for market share tend to inflict that on their industries—are driving the smaller players in your space either to bankruptcy court or to the arms of consolidators. But through it all, your niche catalog company continues to enjoy annual sales growth of about 13 percent—for 10 years running. And, in all but one of